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My partner and I are looking to move to Valencia in April/May. We are currently in the UK and for the sake of simplicity, I'll just say that we have the right to live and work in Spain.

What does the usual rental process look like?

  • What kind of documents, financial proof, etc, are needed?

  • Are Spanish bank accounts a must?

  • Is now the right time to search or is it too early?

The plan is to get there in early April and maybe get an Airbnb until we sort out a long-term rental, but if we can get the process started now then even better.

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The residences are also rented out by private people; it is a lot easier to find a person who's more flexible in his requirements, then it is to find a rental company.

In my experience, most people seem to require that you work in the area. I was only able to book maybe 2 appointments before I commenced working -- definitely zero before I moved there -- and one of those 2 seemed like a scammer to my mom (he had a complicated set of patterns for when I would have to be gone so his relatives can visit him, I would have to clean after them and he can charge me if I don't do a good job, and he didn't want to register the rental on paper). So definitely getting an AirBNB for the beginning is not a bad idea... unless you are open to staying in hostels. Those are typically not advertised on AirBnB, and they typically have much lower rates (in December-January anyways; their rates do change with the seasons, however). I'll also say that my mom felt the hostels weren't clean enough for her; but, looking at hotels, the third one we visited had a long-stay discount for 7 nights or more, to the point it was actually slightly cheaper than an AirBNB; so we booked there and had free continental breakfast. However, I'm not sure how easy such deals are to find; definitely wasn't listed on the internet, we had to ask.

One benefit of requiring an official job is, that you don't have to ask for things like the residency permit or the NIE, because without having them you won't be able to find an official job.

No, I never had a bank account in Spain, and never was asked for it, even when I went to rental companies (my salary was wired over to Germany). However, several private landlords asked for something of their own, to verify if they wanted to rent out to me. For example, one of them asked my mom to come to the interview with me; another one asked for proof of funds to support myself in case the job doesn't work out; a third one asked to attend the church where I started going. See Why is it difficult to rent an apartment in Germany for an explanation of why the different landlords might ask for something of their own.

And just for clarity, most likely now is too early to start searching. Because the people who rent properties out typically want someone who is stably tied to the area, since rental contracts are fairly difficult to break legally if you get someone who doesn't pay; so the landlords typically want someone who seriously looks like they're committed to renting there. On the other hand, the day that I started working, all doors seemed to open at once, and I had 3 rental offers within 5 days.

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  • "I never had a bank account in Spain, and never was asked for it" -- Thanks. Were you asked for anything else? Residency permit, NIE, etc?
    – turnip
    Mar 11 at 9:53
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    I was not asked for the Residency permit or the NIE because having an official job automatically implied that I had these. However, as far as the etc. goes -- several private landlords did ask for something of their own for the purpose of vetting me; see the updated answer because it was too long to leave as a comment.
    – Alex
    Mar 11 at 15:19

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